JILAF reinvited a total of five persons (including three women) to visit Japan from September 25 to October 1.
The reinvitation team consisted of one person each from the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU), the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions (CMTU), and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) of Singapore.
The focus of the theme-specific reinvitation program this time was gender equality. Through the program as a whole, the participants were able to deepen their understanding of current economic and social conditions in Japan and the Japanese labour movement.
In the labour-related lectures, the participants learned about equal employment opportunities for women in Japan, and in their visit to RENGO they were able to share the latest information concerning RENGO’s activities to promote gender equality. In addition, in their visit to an industrial labour organization and workplace, the participants were able to learn about the gender equality policies and activities of Service-Ryutsu Rengo (Japan Federation of Service and Distributive Workers Unions) and the Marui Group Union.
The highlight of the program was the speeches in a JILAF-sponsored international symposium titled “Gender Equality as a Growth Strategy: Present Situation in Asian Countries and the Role of Labour Unions.” This international symposium attracted about 100 participants, including representatives of labour unions, government organizations, universities and research institutes, corporate personnel departments, and nonprofit organizations. Although conditions differ by country, the participants were able to share recognition that the promotion of gender equality by both workplaces and unions is important for the achievement of sustained economic growth. Speeches on gender equality by male union executives were also refreshing and impressive. In the appraisal meeting, the participants commented that the symposium “was an extremely valuable experience” and “I want to put priority on gender equality activities in union activities in my own country.”